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Bible Commentaries
Job 16

Dunagan's Commentary on the BibleDunagan's Commentary

Verse 1

Verse 2

16:2 "I have heard many such things": "He begins with statement of weariness. He had heard all of this unprofitable talk before" (Strauss p. 155). "Sorry comforters are you all": Instead of helping him and easing his pain they were only compounding the problem. The term "sorry" means "trouble, mischief", compare with 15:35. Eliphaz claimed that they were speaking consolation from God (15:11), but Job objects that they were only bringing him trouble.

Verse 3

16:3 He is not the wind-bag-they are. Job then asks, "What plagues you that you answer?" "Not comprehending why they should be so agitated over his efforts to get a hearing with God…literally, "What irritates you that you keep on replying?" (Zuck p. 76).

Verse 4

16:4-5 "I too could speak like you": If the circumstances were reversed, Job could certainly fire verbal bullets at them, yet in verse 5 he seems to indicate that he would try to help them. "He could do far better than they were doing, for he could indeed strengthen people with his words (4:4), and he could offer solace that would ease their pain" (Zuck p. 76). To "shake the head" at someone was another way of mocking someone (Psalm 22:7).

Verse 6

16:6 But speaking does not help. "Whether he spoke up or not, his pain lingered on" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 738). Not only was Job not helped by his three comforters, he could not even help himself. Nothing he could say or think seemed to help him come to terms with his suffering.

Verse 7

16:7-8 Job feels that God has worn him down, he had been deprived of friends and family and his once healthy body is now emaciated. And such a lean and gaunt body only gives his friends a reason to accuse him of sin.

Verse 9

16:9 Job depicts God as a savage beast, "tearing him in anger, snarling at him, and glaring at him" (Zuck p. 77).

Verse 10

16:10 This is a reference to Job's three friends, who verbally attacked him, treated him with contempt, and closed ranks against him like an army of soldiers.

Verse 11

16:11 "God hands me over to ruffians": Job was not wicked as claimed (15:12-35), but those mistreating him and accusing him were. Job's friends like Eliphaz were older, but Job labels them as "ruffians", that is young rebellious boys.

Verse 12

16:12 Suddenly and unexpectedly God had attacked him, without any warning. Job feels that God is using him for target practice.

Verse 13

16:13 This is the description of what would be considered a death-blow on the field of battle.

Verse 14

16:14 God here is likened to an army that has breached the defenses of a city and is now overrunning it. Job is wrong in attributing such hostility to God, yet he could see no other explanation. "Job thus amassed a forceful collocation of word-pictures to portray the intensity of his emotional writhing and the helplessness of his pitiable condition" (Zuck p. 77).

Verse 15

16:15 As a result, Job was wearing sackcloth, and he had thrust his "horn in the dust", "the figure of a defeated animal" (Zuck p. 77).

Verse 16

16:16-17 His face is red from crying and his eyelids were dark in color, both indicative of grief. Yet, he was innocent, he had not practiced any violence and his prayers had been pure. He had served others and God in a pure conscience. "Why should he be in such torment when he was not a terrible person?" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 738).

Verse 18

16:18 "O earth, do not cover my blood": He longs that his injustice be vindicated (Genesis 4:10), and that his cry for justice be not forgotten or buried.

Verse 19

16:19 "Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my advocate is on high": Job was confident that there was someone in heaven who would tell the truth about him and testify on his behalf. Is this a reference to God that he had just accused of attacking him, or is he convinced that in heaven he had a sponsor or advocate who would stand on his behalf and plead with God for his cause?

Verse 20

16:20 Yet Job's earthly friends had not spoken on his behalf, rather they had accused him, "so as I turn from them, I turn to God with tears streaming down my face" (Strauss p. 161).

Verse 21

16:21 Again, here is Job's hope that he could present his case before God.

Verse 22

16:22 And he needed this opportunity now for time was running out. "His few years would soon come to an end, and he could not possibly return (to appear in court) after death" (Zuck p. 78).

Bibliographical Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 16". "Dunagan's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dun/job-16.html. 1999-2014.
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